Ujjain, considered to be one of the holiest cities of India, is an ancient city situated on the eastern bank of the Shipra River in the Malwa region. Ujjain is one of the four sites for the Kumbh Mela, the largest peace gathering on the planet that attracts 100 million people to the festival.
This makes Ujjain a region of high religious significance for the Hindus. To add to that, it is also home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines to the god Shiva. Ujjain is one of the most glorious cities of ancient India as it is also reckoned to be the educational hub of various Indian scholars. The immense wealth of Ujjain in terms of religion, architecture, and educational value makes this is a top attraction amongst not only Indian travelers but also foreign.
The Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple, located in the ancient city of Ujjain on the side of the Rudra Sagar Lake in the state of Madhya Pradesh, continues to be one of the most sacred and outstanding places of pilgrimage for Hindus till date. The abode of Lord Shiva, the temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are considered to be the sacred dwelling place of the Lord. Even in the modern and hectic lifestyles, the temple continues to provide the visitor with an altogether different and unmatched peace of mind and composure.
The Mahakaleshwar Temple complex is a spacious courtyard with sculptural finery and sophistication that is influenced by Maratha, Bhumija and Chalukya styles of structural design and is complete with impressive lingams of Mahakaleshwar, Omkaresvara and Nagachandresvara and images of Ganesha, Kartikeya and Parvati. The temple, which is spread over five levels, evokes admiration and esteem for Lord Shiva, who reigns eternally in the city of Ujjain with all his magnificence. In fact, the Lord in the lingam form is considered to be Swayambhu. This means that he derives power from within himself, unlike other lingams or images that need to be ritually established with ‘mantra-shakti’. A number of religious festivals and celebrations also take place here every year and are celebrated with great fervour. Other than these, the Bhasma-Aarti of the temple is a ritual ceremony that you should not miss.